In sessions, a common response I'd get to suggesting relationship check-ins is “we talk all the time” or “if I had an issue, I wouldn’t have a problem bringing it up” and that’s wonderful, I’d bloody hope so - but just because you talk all the time doesn’t mean you’re talking about working on the relationship and that you shouldn’t have to wait for things to get bad or for you or your partner to get dysregulated to have these conversations. Too often, I find couples arguing about why their partner never said anything and it's because they were waiting for the "right time". We're all guilty of it sometimes in some way, shape or form, but we need to be honest and recognise there is never a right time unless we actively make it.
The point of having a regular check-in is that it creates a set space and normalizes actively working on the relationship. The more you do it, it takes away the pressure of those “we need to talk” conversations and it gets easier. It doesn’t have to be a daunting tick-a-box, but you can make it comfy, encouraging and sweet.
It recognizes that we are individual humans, our needs and our day to day experiences of our relationships are fluid, and these check-ins require you to get your reps in of thinking about your needs, asking for them and responding to your partner’s (skills we all need work on). More than this, it keeps you connected especially in the chaotic seasons of life when conversations about the relationship and growth often unintentionally drop to the bottom of the priority list. Below you'll find my relationship-therapist-approved tips and suggested questions for your next relationship check-in. You're welcome.
Have them often (every 2-4 weeks)
Have regular questions and some to rotate through
It's a conversation, not an interrogation
Schedule them in and set the scene, e.g. snacks, wine
Wrap up with an actionable task (and a smooch)
How's your mental health?
What's going well in our relationship?
What's something I've done lately that made you feel loved?
How is our friendship?
Is there anything we can do to better support each other?
How do we feel about our sexual connection?
What does happiness look like for you these days?
Is there anything from the last fortnight/month that feels unresolved?
Is there anything that you need that you're not getting?
Is there anything new you'd like to try together?
Do you have any known stressors coming up? How can I help?
Ready, set, connect.